Acute Respiratory Infection due to Woodsmoke

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

Acute Respiratory Infection due to Woodsmoke

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:32 pm

Prevalence of Acute Respiratory Infections in Women and Children in Western Sierra Leone due to Smoke from Wood and Charcoal Stoves
Taylor et al
Abstract: Combustion of biomass fuels (wood and charcoal) for cooking releases smoke
that contains health damaging pollutants. Women and children are the most affected.
Exposure to biomass smoke is associated with acute respiratory infections (ARI). This study
investigated the prevalence of ARI potentially caused by smoke from wood and charcoal
stoves in Western Sierra Leone, as these two fuels are the predominant fuel types used for
cooking. A cross sectional study was conducted for 520 women age 15–45 years; and 520
children under 5 years of age in homes that burn wood and charcoal. A questionnaire assessing
demographic, household and exposure characteristics and ARI was administered to every
woman who further gave information for the child. Suspended particulate matter (SPM) was
continuously monitored in fifteen homes. ARI prevalence revealed 32% and 24% for
women, 64% and 44% for children in homes with wood and charcoal stoves, respectively.
After adjusting for potential confounders for each group, the odds ratio of having suffered
from ARI was similar for women, but remained large for children in homes with wood
stoves relative to charcoal stoves (OR = 1.14, 95%CI: 0.71–1.82) and (OR = 2.03, 95%CI:
1.31–3.13), respectively. ARI prevalence was higher for children in homes with wood
stoves compared with homes with charcoal stoves, but ARI prevalence for both types of
fuels is higher compared with reported prevalence elsewhere. To achieve a reduction in
ARI would require switching from wood and charcoal to cleaner fuels.

• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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